Efficacy of glucocorticoids, vitamin A and caffeine therapies for neonatal mortality in preterm infants: a network meta-analysis

Ying Li _, Jie Gao, Qiwei Wang and Xiaojian Ma

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:81167-81175. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20882

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Ying Li1, Jie Gao1, Qiwei Wang1 and Xiaojian Ma1

1Department of Paediatrics, Huaihe Hospital, Henan University, Kaifeng 475000, Henan, China

Correspondence to:

Ying Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: neonatal mortality, efficacy, treatments, network meta-analysis

Received: June 22, 2017     Accepted: August 15, 2017     Published: September 14, 2017


Introduction: The paper aimed to evaluate the efficacy of different therapies in improving survival among preterm infants.

Materials and Methods: PubMed and Embase were searched from inception to 2017. We assessed studies for eligibility and extracted data. A Bayesian random-effects model was used to evaluate different therapies combined direct comparisons with indirect evidence. Consistency analysis was achieved using node-splitting plots. Surface under the cumulative ranking curve (SUCRA) was calculated to rank different therapies. Rankings of the competing therapies were also performed.

Results: A total of 42 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included for the network meta-analysis. Forest plots demonstrated that dexamethasone (OR = 10.13, 95% CrI: 5.11 to 17.89) and vitamin A (OR = 28.44, 95% CrI: 14.66 to 42.11) is superior to placebo in duration of oxygen supplementation while vitamin A (OR = −29.76, 95% CrI: −57.66 to −1.75) is inferior to placebo with regard to duration of hospitalization. Also, dexamethasone (OR = 0.42, 95% CrI: 0.24 to 0.68) showed lower incidence rate of BPD.

SUCRA results showed the superiority of Budesonide based on primary efficacy outcomes. In addition, dexamethasone also showed high efficacy ranking in duration of ventilation, duration of oxygen supplementation, and occurrence of BPD. Hydrocortisone was effective in reducing neonatal mortality. No significant difference was found among these drugs.

Conclusions: No significant heterogeneity was found among these drugs. In general, budesonide might have the potential to be the optimal drug for its efficacy in reducing neonatal mortality and BPD, the two most essential outcome measures. Dexamethasone might be the suboptimal drug.

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